The chip-enabled Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard offers unique benefits and a wealthy rewards schedule. So it says anyway. It supposedly makes your travels easier, more enjoyable and safer too. As soon as your approved for, receive and activate this pricey rewards credit card, you’ll have full access to concierge services, membership at airport lounges and other perks. This card, as you may expect, is tough to acquire. If your credit history doesn’t have a good shine to it, then you probably don’t need to apply for this one.
With an annual membership fee of $125, the Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard offers some pretty impressive APRs. For instance, you’ll enjoy a 9-month introductory APR on net purchases and balance transfers of 0%. After the intro period, the APRs for purchases and balance transfers go up to a still-very-nice 12.24%. On the other hand, the APR for cash advances of all types is a rather steep 25.24%. And then again, the APR for any penalty amounts is slightly lower than most cards at 27.24%.
Like all credit cards, the Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard uses its own unique recipe for fees and APRs. In the end, all credit cards are designed to make the issuing bank or company generate profits. Credit cards are not issued for the consumer, even though consumers find them indispensable. So there they are, available always. Just remember that no matter how enticing the packaging may be, credit cards exist to make profit – and lots of it.
The “rich” rewards program for the Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard definitely has a couple unique aspects. Here’s the breakdown:
- For every $1 spent on net merchandise purchases, you receive 1 point.
- For every $1 spent on net merchandise purchases at eligible restaurant and travel retailers, you receive 2 points.
- For net merchandise purchases, made online, at eligible travel retailers, you receive 3 additional points per dollar spent.
- If you accrue interest charges on your monthly statement, you receive 5 points for every $1 accrued.
- You will also receive bonus points when you shop either online, or in-store, at thousands of participating retailers worldwide.
- If you make at least $50,000 in net merchandise purchases within one year, you receive a 5% points dividend.
- If you use your points to shop at the rewards center for Commerce Bank, then you automatically receive a 20% points bonus.
- There are no earning caps for the points. They expire after five years of non-use.
So, the rewards points structure for the Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard is different than most other cards. However, you need to delve into the details of what these credit card companies are really offering. For instance, is it really so rewarding to receive a 5% points dividend for making at least $50,000 in net purchases within one year. No: it’s really not. Take the time to set up some realistic scenarios that apply to your family’s money situation. Do the math and see the real value of this, or any other, credit card you may be considering.
Transaction Fees for the Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard
The Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard is fairly expensive when it comes to transaction fees, like almost all credit cards. You see, the credit card industry has certain standards that all the players go by. They all charge too much for these fees – and that’s exactly why more and more credit cards are always becoming available: they generate huge profits! Anyway, here are the fees associated with using this card:
- Annual fee of $125;
- Balance Transfers cost the greater of $10 and 5%;
- Cash Advances also cost $10 or 5%, whichever is more;
- Late payments and returned payments incur fees of $35 per incident;
Hmm, that seems more expensive than most cards, especially considering that they charge an annual fee of $125. It seems so because it is. However, the Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard attempts to make up for all these crazy fees by providing foreign transactions at no costs. That means that if you are traveling abroad, you will incur no fees for transactions initiated. That’s pretty cool, but it just doesn’t make up for the generally higher fees otherwise. Verdict: rip off.
Passive benefits associated with the Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard
There are several useful and attractive benefits that are automatically included with the Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard. They are designed and offered to cater to people who travel a lot, especially on an international basis. Now, that also implies that if you do not travel internationally often, this card may not be the one for you. Of course, the benefits also can be useful for domestic travels, but not so much as with traveling abroad. If you want full disclosure about all passive benefits, check out the website and read up.
One of the key sell points that the Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard offers is membership at more than 350 worldwide airport lounges. These 350 are spread out in 85 countries, so you need to ask yourself about how often you might actually get to enjoy this benefit. The issuer also states that the No Preset Spending Limit offers “remarkable spending power”. That may be true – if you are a superstar when it comes to your credit history and rating. For most cardholders, denial is the verdict when they attempt to initiate charges that exceed their credit limit.
There’s also Zero-Liability, 24/7 customer support, travel accident insurance for up to $250,000 and more included with the Commerce Bank World Elite MasterCard. Overall, this card offers a lot – but it costs a lot too. The $125 annual fee should be made up for more than it is by lowering transaction fees. This card appears very attractive at first glance, but further research uncovers the fact that it’s a real money maker for Commerce. And there’s nothing wrong with that – as long as you understand that those mad profits are being generated from the cardholders’ losses.